Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 1984) is the founder of the Feldenkrais™ Method. He emigrated from Russia to Mandatory Palestine (Israel) when he was a young man. There he was employed as a construction worker, building the first neighborhoods of modern-day Tel Aviv.
He completed his academic studies in Paris, obtaining a degree in mechanical and electrical engineering in 1933. In 1937 he was awarded a doctorate from Sorbonne University in the field of nuclear physics. During this period, Dr. Feldenkrais became interested in judo and was the first westerner to be awarded a black belt.
A knee injury, sustained whilst playing soccer, left Dr. Feldenkrais almost unable to walk. In an effort to avoid risky surgery and help himself get better, he started studying human movement. This ultimately became his life’s work: exploring the principles of human movement, the influence and role of gravity in movement, the evolution of upright posture. As he brought together his understanding of martial arts, anatomy, mechanics and psychology, he began to recognize that human movement is influenced by the dynamics of family structure, heredity, social environment, education and culture. At the same time, he discovered that movement is also a medium to influence and transform health and the way people experience themselves.
Drawing on this wide base of knowledge, Dr. Feldenkrais developed his method. The Feldenkrais Method is based on a learning process applied to physical movement, allowing participants to learn and develop at their own pace and in their own unique way.
Dr. Feldenkrais went on to teach his method in programs all over the world, passing on his discoveries to a generation of teachers he trained in the Feldenkrais Method. He wrote many books throughout his lifetime and actively documented his work, leaving a rich inheritance for those who continue his work today.